The Indian team has not had a set XI for the past year either due to workload management or due to injuries to players which have affected the balance of the squad.
Friday’s training session could not be a definitive indication of what the final eleven will be as most of the senior players opted to rest on the day.
But captain Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya are certainties and Dinesh Karthik on current form is ahead of Rishabh Pant.
After his batting session, Karthik had been practicing for a considerable period of time.
But to be fair to Pant, he is the only left-handed specialist batting option in top six and if both Karthik and Pant are accommodated in the playing eleven, Rohit will be forced to play Pandya as the fifth bowling option, which can backfire. on occasions.
Similarly, Axar is the most consistent spinner to be seen but Pakistan’s top order has the southpaws Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Nawaz and Khushdil Shah and playing a left-arm spinner against them might not be a good option.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s experience cannot be overlooked because of the variations he brings to the table.
As of now, Yuzvendra Chahal looks like the first choice spinner and on bigger Australian ground with big side boundaries, wrist spinners are a must.
The pace troika looks set with Mohammed Shami hitting the links along with Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as Harshal Patel on current form cannot be picked.